Can you define it?
The hardest question I’ve ever been asked by a friend:
Could you define ‘consciousness’ for me?
-Define consciousness? I don’t think I can. You need to experience it.
-Okay, but how?
-One of the best ways I would say is meditation.
-Alright, but I can’t meditate.
-No problem. Just start doing it. Start it today.
-Okay, fine, I’ll try to define it.
-Consciousness is your true self.
Spiritual beings having a human experience
There’s a saying, which I find quite accurate:
“We’re not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
But without experiencing it it doesn’t make much sense. Talking/writing/reading about it can be helpful or limiting as well.
It’s like trying to explain to a blind person about colours.
How would you describe red colour to a blind person?
-Well, it’s…you know…red. Vivid. Bright.
-And how is that?
But let me tell you about my experiences, where I believe I’ve experienced pure consciousness but it’s going to be hard to put into words because you need to experience it. You need to feel it.
For a few weeks every second day I started my day with an hour of meditation (next to doing other spiritual practices throughout those weeks). And I have a very clear memory of a meditation experience. As I’m writing about it I’m starting to have goosebumps. My body remembers. It’s fascinating.
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How would you describe red colour to a blind person?
Calm, Balance, Joy
I was around at the end of the meditation, and I remember the feeling. Feeling veeery calm, balanced, joyful, aligned with myself and aligned with the world (this so called oneness feeling), where I don’t feel that there’s a separation between me and everything around me. It feels like it’s one and the same.
And you know what’s the most interesting part? I didn’t have any specific reason for it. It was just there. I was clear of the mist the of everyday problems, and I got back to my natural state.
Why natural? Because again, I had no specific reason to feel like this. I didn’t win the lottery, I didn’t win a car, a yacht etc. It was just there. And it was so tangible. I remember saying to myself that I should start my morning every single day like this. But unfortunately I don’t. But I’m working on it.
This is very powerful. You really don’t need anything to experience this, it’s already inside you. You just need to allow it to happen. How to do that? Practice. It’s not going to come in a blink of an eye, you need to train your mind for it.
Glimpse of Consciousness
Let me tell you about another example, it’s also a personal story and through that you can get a glimpse of consciousness.
I attended a great workshop called Voice Being with Shai Dayan. It’s hard to describe it, but I’d say it’s direct spiritual experience using your body and your voice. Kind of. It was a two day workshop, and at the end of the second day something very profound happened that I will never forget. For a short period of time (maybe half a minute or so) I’ve felt the freest in my life. It was sort of the last “exercise” we did, and Shai said “Alright guys, no instructions now, feel free to let your voice out in any way you prefer and let’s see what happens”. That’s what we did.
I let my voice out, I was playing with it however it felt good. And then something happened. I felt as if huge barriers inside me collapsed. And consciousness surfaced (I’m having goosebumps again as I’m writing these words).
I let my voice out in a way that I’ve never done before. It was free of all boundaries and limitations. I’ve felt such joy and freedom that I have never experienced in my life. It was amazing.
Interestingly, I started to be attached to this feeling. I was like “Ah man I don’t want this feeling to go away, this is awesome.” And in that moment it was gone. Funny how the mind works.
What is reality?
I would say consciousness is what or who we really are. It’s vast and profound. It’s way past beyond imagination. But again, let me bring a metaphor. I’ve heard it’s how Japanese people describe infinity to children.
So there’s the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. Every thousand years a little bird flies by and with its wings it gently touches the top of the mountain. It goes like this until the mountain is completely gone because of the friction between the bird’s wing and the mountaintop . The amount of time it takes for the mountain to be completely gone is only a moment in the infinite. Boom. My mind was blown when I heard this.
It can help if you read authentic spiritual books, listen to authentic spiritual teachings or if you learn about quantumphysics. All of them want to know the answer for one question: What is reality? Finding out about reality without wanting to put the experiences in boxes which fit our belief system. The best search for reality is when you have no expectations.
So there you have it, I’m not sure how well I can put my experience into words but that’s the best I got. Again, you can read all about it, and it doesn’t matter. Experience is what matters. And you can’t get that from books. Go and meditate. And if you can’t go outside, go inside. So why don’t you try it? You have a lifetime for it. It’s never too late to go inwards.